DUI case against Harbin postponed again

ATLANTA -- A judge today granted another delay in the drunken-driving case against state Rep. Ben Harbin, R-Evans, agreeing to the prosecution’s request for additional time to contact a witness.

Tuesday’s hearing marked the fifth time the case against the House Appropriations Committee chairman has been postponed, which appeared to irk Atlanta Municipal Court Judge Herman Sloan.

“We’re going to have some movement?” Sloan asked Assistant City Solicitor Warren Atkinson and Mr. Harbin’s attorney, Robert Highsmith, before setting Aug. 5 as Mr. Harbin’s next court date.

Mr. Atkinson told the judge that he has had difficulty contacting a witness in the case, but after court he would not elaborate and deferred comment to Raines Carter, the city’s top solicitor.

In a written statement Mr. Harbin said he and his attorney will continue to negotiate a resolution to the misdemeanor charges against him.

“I am disappointed that it has taken as long as it has, because we are eager to put the matter behind us. But I understand that the process must play out, and I look forward to resolving it as soon as possible,” he said.

Mr. Harbin was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving May 20, 2007, after he struck a telephone pole in his car in Atlanta about 1 a.m.

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